Master_gardener_medium_medium Minnesota Yard & Garden

University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener volunteers are on-hand to answer Minnesotan's questions about home flower gardens, vegetable and fruit gardens, landscape design and maintenance, seed starting, garden soil, composting, and pest management.

(This group currently has 16 experts available to answer questions)

Questions asked to this group

What is this purple plant and how to I eliminate or contain it?

What is this plant? I thought it was amaranth or purple orach. I tried searching your site and didn’t find anything. It seems to spread rapidly, I don’t think I planted it. I like the color but not the spread. It’s so hard to get up by the roots, impossible by hand. It’s taking over. It blocks out light for other plants and spreads fast. If I break it off at roots will it die?

Hennepin County MN Posted about 1 hour ago

Please identify this pesky grass

Hello. First, thanks very much for offering this service. A couple people have told me this is Johnson grass, but I read somewhere that “Johnson grass is in every state except Minnesota“, and since I am only about 30 miles south of Minneapolis, I wonder. If you need a better photo, please let me know and I’ll do what I can. I don’t know if I have any taller examples; we keep mowing the yard. That’s an ordinary 5-inch pocket comb for size estimating. Sincerely, Jim Harris

Dakota County MN weed identification Posted about 11 hours ago

Root rot in Viburnum

Hello, I have a couple Viburnum Mohican, and they have root rot. I am learning it is Armillaria. What is that? My question is, do I have to get rid of the soil around where it was planted to eliminate the problem? I have planted 3 bushes in the same spot and none have thrived. The other 3 I have are bare at the bottom, with leaves solely on the top third. Is this normal or do I have more problems?? Thanks so much!

Hennepin County MN Posted about 15 hours ago

White/silver tomato leaves

Planted tomatoes on shady day...not much sun since. Plant looked healthy when purchased, now leaves are silvery in color. I don't think it is sun scald..? Should I discard and start over? Planting in a straw bale that has been conditioned. Discoloration appeared within five days of planting.

Stearns County MN Posted about 20 hours ago

Perennial box wood drying

Hello, I planted two box woods in the same location and year after year they are dying. The damage looks to be in the same location. What is causing this? What can I do about it? Is this caused by the dryer vent from winter? You can see the picture of the damage and proximity to the vent. The other boxwoods are doing fine, it's just that one. Thanks!

Washington County MN Posted about 20 hours ago

Deer damage to Japanese tree lilac

Last fall I didn’t get the protective wrap on my new tree lilac in time and a deer scraped some of the bark off the trunk (see attached photo). Most of the damaged section is scraped all the way down to bare light colored wood, but a small section shows some remaining bark. Is this tree a lost cause or might it pull through? Is there anything I can do to help it recover if recovery is possible?

Hennepin County Minnesota deer damage Posted about 23 hours ago


Why did my rhododendron not bloom this year? It is covered with buds but now the new growth has appeared. Should I clip the buds off or let the bush handle this. I know we had very cold and windy weather this spring. It has always been very prolific and beautiful. It is about 10+ years old.

Washington County Minnesota Posted about 23 hours ago

Wild violets everywhere!

Good day! I have wild violets in my lawn. Several years ago I had the lawn aerated - and now they are everywhere. I've always been careful about using any type of weed control - so I have been spot treating them. Worked very hard last year - but have a good crop again this year. Any suggestions for me? What should I use to control them? Thank you.

Hennepin County Minnesota wild violets Posted 1 day ago

Glossy Buckthorn?

I live in the north metro on a wooded lot and have been fighting the battle v. buckthorn for several years. I am struggling to ID what I think is Glossy Buckthorn (Frangula Alnus). I've looked on-line but still can't seem to nail it down. Attached are photos of a leaf and well as a photo of the flower (5 petal) which bloomed this week. Many thanks for your help. Channing Riggs

Ramsey County Minnesota buckthorn Posted 1 day ago


My 'Endless Summer ' Hydrangea seems to have died out in the center. Should I treat it like a perennial and dig it up and divide or replant?

Hennepin County Minnesota Posted 1 day ago